Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Want to Ski a New Route to the South Pole?

The 2015-2016 Antarctic season is now just a few weeks away from ramping up, and while the teams haven't begun to descend on Punta Arenas or Cape Town just yet, you can certainly bet that the explorers and adventurers who will be crossing the frozen continent this year are busy getting ready. One such team is being organized by veteran polar guide Eric Phillips, who will be leading a group for Ice Trek, a company that specializes in travel in the polar regions of our planet. This year, Eric and his crew will be setting out to make Antarctic history, skiing along a completely new route to the South Pole, and he's looking for two more people to join the squad.

Phillips and Ice Trek are keeping their cards close to the vest when it comes to details about the new route.  They do say that it will cover approximately 630 km (404 miles) starting at the coast and ending at 90ºS. The journey will require 40 days out on the ice to complete, with about 37 of those days actually spent skiing. They're looking to cover about 17 km (10.5 miles) per day on average, in order to wrap up the distance in the time allotted. If you have ever followed an Antarctic expedition in the past, you'll know that is pretty ambitious, as high winds, poor visibility, and challenging surface conditions can cause teams to slow down dramatically at times.

The departure date for the trip is set for November 29 from Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in Chile. There are already two people signed up to join Eric on the expedition, but Ice Trek is looking for two others to come along on the journey as well. Those who are interested in potentially being a part of the team can fill out an application to join here. You can also find more info about the trip in general by clicking here.

More information about the new route that the team will travel along will be provided once the application process has been completed. Anyone who signs up to join the team will have to have plenty of financial resources at their disposal however, as the expedition will cost $135,000. That pice doesn't include airfare to Punta Arenas, and the price of shipping all of the necessary gear either.

As the new Antarctic season draws near, I'll be ramping up my coverage of the proceeding at the bottom of the world. Obviously since this team is looking to open a new route, we'll be watching their progress closely. But if you've got the time – and the cash – to join the team, you could be a part of history.

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